NBA Game Recap - Denver at Minnesota
Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:00 PM EST

DET
100
WAS
106
F
TOR
122
ATL
117
F
PHI
117
BKN
111
F
ORL
106
CHA
83
F
NO
126
MEM
116
F
CHI
98
MIL
111
F
SAC
113
MIA
118
F(OT)
OKC
112
HOU
107
F
NY
106
CLE
86
F
LAL
107
BOS
139
F
DEN
107
MIN
100
F
IND
88
UTA
118
F
SA
120
PHO
118
F
GS
124
POR
129
F(OT)

Denver 107, Minnesota 100

Jan 20, 2020, 8:00 PM EST

Final

1

2

3

4

T

Denver (30-13)

26

29

26

26

107

Minnesota (15-28)

29

25

25

21

100

Porter helps Nuggets overtake struggling T-wolves 107-100
Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:07 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Hit hard recently by injuries, the Denver Nuggets have managed to remain on track in the top-heavy Western Conference race.

Michael Porter Jr. has been one of the main reasons.

Porter posted his second double-double in three games with 20 points and 14 rebounds, helping the short-handed Nuggets overtake the Minnesota Timberwolves 107-100 on Monday night.

"He's impacting the game at such a high level. He's growing up in front of our eyes," Nuggets coach Mike Malone said.

Jerami Grant scored 19 points and Nikola Jokic had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets, who again had three of their top five scorers absent - Jamal Murray, Paul Millsap and Gary Harris Jr. - and were playing on back-to-back nights. Porter, the 2018 first-round draft pick whose rookie season was ruined by a back injury, was a major factor in the victory.

"He's an amazing talent. You see how his ball is going into the hoop. It's a swoosh every time," Jokic said.

The 6-foot-10 Porter went 7 for 12 from the floor for the second 20-point game of his budding career, having just begun to get regular playing time within the last three weeks.

"Just helping the team win, not going out there and thinking about me," said Porter, who keyed a 19-5 spurt late in the second quarter with nine points and five rebounds after the Nuggets fell behind 46-36 for their largest deficit of the night.

Karl-Anthony Towns outplayed his rival Jokic with 28 points and eight rebounds and reserve Josh Okogie added 16 points, but Minnesota dropped its sixth straight game. The Timberwolves surrendered 50 points in the paint and were outrebounded 40-31.

"We've got to have that fight. We've got to go get that ball. It's all of us," Towns said.

The Nuggets had that toughness, coming up with just enough second-chance opportunities down the stretch to demoralize a struggling opponent.

"It's like building a sandcastle at the ocean, and then it just gets wiped away, and then you've got to start it all over," Towns said.

The Wolves were mostly within one possession in the second half, cutting their deficit to 88-85 with 8:33 left on a dunk by Keita Bates-Diop over the top of Jokic, But Porter responded with a 3-pointer soon after to double the lead. Malik Beasley, who had 11 points off the bench, helped the Nuggets create some more space.

Towns had a three-point play with 2:48 remaining that brought the Wolves within 102-98, but they couldn't get enough stops when it counted the most. Monte Morris popped out to swish a mid-range shot from the wing for Denver on the next possession.

Okogie snagged a give-and-go pass from Robert Covington for a dunk that cut the lead to four points again, and Towns had the ball in the post after Jokic missed a 3-pointer, but he couldn't get the ball to fall in a crowd around the basket that had Towns complaining about no foul call. Then Will Barton III, who had 18 points, sealed the deal with a 3-pointer on the other end.

"This was just a character win, man. I couldn't be more proud of the group," Malone said.

MLK DAY

The Timberwolves have played at home on Martin Luther King Jr. Day more often than not over their history, and Covington gave a brief pregame welcome to the crowd with a message of unity. Players wore black warmup shirts that read, "We cannot walk alone."

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Millsap (sprained/bruised left knee) missed his seventh straight game. Harris (strained right adductor muscle) was out for the fourth consecutive game. Murray (sprained left ankle) was sidelined for the third game in a row. ... Backup center Mason Plumlee briefly joined the injured crew in the second quarter when he rolled his right ankle. He returned in the third. ... The Nuggets are 6-2 on the second half of a back-to-back set of games this season. They're 13-7 on the road.

Timberwolves: Newly acquired shooting guard Allen Crabbe had three points and three assists in 16 minutes. His debut was delayed by an illness that kept him out on Saturday against Toronto. ... The Wolves dropped to 3-17 against teams with a winning record at the time of the game, including 2-10 at home.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Play at Houston on Wednesday. They lost 130-104 to the Rockets on the road on Dec. 31.

Timberwolves: Play at Chicago on Wednesday, their only road game in a 14-day span.

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More AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/NBA

Leaders

Denver PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
J. Hernangomez 0 -7 0 1 0 0
M. Porter 20 17 4 14 0 1
Minnesota PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
J. McLaughlin 0 -3 4 1 2 0
K. Towns 28 2 5 8 1 1

Team Comparison

DEN MIN
Points For 107 100
Field Goals 43/90-48% 38/91-42%
Three Pointers 11/31-35% 13/42-31%
Free Throws 10/12-83% 11/14-79%
Offensive Rebounds 13 11
Defensive Rebounds 40 31
Rebounds 59 46
Blocks 1 5
Steals 9 7
Turnovers 13 9
Points Scored Off Turnovers 10 11
Points in the Paint 50 44
Fast Break Points 7 4
Personal Fouls 18 11
Technical Fouls 0 0
Flagrant Fouls 0 0
Ejections 0 0

2019-2020 Regular Season - DEN Leads Series 3-0

Date Result Away Pts Ldr Home Pts Ldr
Sun Nov 10 DEN 100 @ MIN 98 M. Plumlee 2 R. Covington 4
Fri Dec 20 MIN 100 @ DEN 109 T. Graham 1 M. Porter 2
Mon Jan 20 DEN 107 @ MIN 100 T. Craig 2 A. Crabbe 3

Game Information

Stadium: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attendance: 12,172
Game Time: 2:04